Want to know what kind of degrees you can get at a community college? There are hundreds! Community colleges continue to evolve in response to the needs of students. In the US, community colleges offer everything from certifications to 2-year associates degrees, and even some 4-year bachelors degrees. But, to simplify everything, let's stick to the most common degrees you can earn in community college.
Inside this post, we will cover the three most common degrees offered at community colleges throughout the US. Then, I'll offer some helpful advice on choosing which to degree to pursue. By the end of the post, you will totally understand what kind of degrees you can get at a community college.
Types of Associates Degrees At Community College
The most common degree you can get at a community college is an Associates Degree. This is a 2-year college degree that can be selected towards different career paths. Depending on your career interests, you will want to pick the most relevant degree most of the time (I will explain this later).
The three main types of associates degrees you can earn are known as:
- Associates of Arts (A.A.)
- Associates of Science (A.S.)
- Associates of Applied Science (A.A.S.)
The associates of arts includes liberal arts degrees in the humanities and social sciences. This includes what most people call a general education degree that covers all the basic courses. The associates of science degree includes more specialized degrees such as business administration, accounting and computer science. Lastly, the associates of applied science includes degrees like paralegal studies, performing arts, criminal justice, mechanical technology, etc.
What Kind Of Degree Should You Choose?
Here's where I would recommend you to go against your initial assumption. Most people would think that if I'm going to study business, I should get an associates degree in business administration. However, if you want to transfer from community college to Ivy League or Tier 1 universities, it is better to go with a liberal arts degree. Let me explain...
When transferring from community college, your transfer university would like you to have all of the core requirements/prerequisite courses completed. By taking courses that satisfy an associates degree in liberal arts, you will end up taking more "core" classes at community college, then you can specialize in your major after transferring to Harvard, NYU or whatever your dream school is. To learn more about transferring to top universities, see this community college guide.
However, if you're not planning on transferring from community college after 2-years, then it's probably more beneficial to pursue a specialized associates degree or certification. These will help you to start a career directly after graduating from community college.